My first year of uni went by in a flash. I swear one day I blinked and missed most of it. Looking back on my first year seems surreal and I’m really happy that I stuck through it, despite wanting to quit at the start of the year, because I have so many irreplaceable and happy memories from this experience.
Packing Up and Moving In
The few weeks leading up to move in day were, for lack of a better word, weird. I would wake up feeling sick, being unable to eat properly and being so emotional- but I didn’t put two and two together. I’d started getting anxious about uni. The main reason for this being that I’m such a home-bird, and before moving to uni I’d rarely spent time away from home and my parents so I was pretty scared at the prospect of living with five strangers. As a result of my anxious feelings I started journalling and meditating. Even though it felt strange to do this at first, it helped a lot. I don’t practice meditation as much now, but I still journal. I find it to be a fantastic way to clear my mind and visualise my thoughts so they seem less of a mess and don’t keep me up at night.
Being someone who is super organised and who likes to be prepared for things, I had started packing my belongings for uni well in advance. Our spare room at home was full of my stuff for weeks before I moved out. (Sorry Mum!) Even though it takes up a bit of space, I recommend doing this because it means that you don’t have to buy a lot of items when you arrive at uni and the move in process is slightly less stressful.
Move in day was a whirlwind. Me and parents packed all of my belongings into our car and set off pretty early in the morning. It didn’t take us too long to arrive and we arrived at the student accommodation early. When we arrived, I queued to collect my key while my parents found a parking space. In the queue I started talking to the girl in front of me- she was really friendly and we ended up in the same society together in first semester, so I recommend talking to as many people as possible on move in day. It’s a great opportunity to meet people you might be on the same course, or in the same society, with. When I’d finally got my key I headed to the car to help my parents unpack.
I was the second person to arrive in my flat and I was thankful that I’d managed to meet my flatmates previously on Facebook because my flatmates weren’t total strangers when we finally met. If you can, join Facebook group chats for your accommodation and reach out to people when you know what flat you’ll be living in- this way, like me, you might meet your flatmates before move in day. After a quick chat with my flatmate I decided to tackle my unpacking and headed to my new room. This is where it hit me that this was actually happening, and I remember having a mini panic attack on the bed while my mum reassured me and helped unpack.
After calming down and unpacking the majority of my belongings it was time for my parents to leave- I don’t remember much of what happened for the rest of the day, it’s all pretty much a blur. At the time, moving in was stressful and I really doubted whether or not I was mentally strong enough to stay. It took me a few months to properly settle in, so don’t worry if you don’t feel at home straight away. Everyone is different and some people need more time to feel comfortable in a new environment. Reflecting on this experience has made me realise that I’m stronger than I first thought and now I know that I would be happy doing something like this again. I’m really glad that I perservered.